THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND THE MIRACULOUS ORDER IN THE CREATION OF THE EARTH
THE LOCATION OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM IN THE
The Solar System's location in the
Milky War is the product of flawless design. Life on Earth would
be impossible if it were elsewhere in the Galaxy.
The location of our solar system in the Milky Way is the product of awe-inspiring
order and flawless design. Its trajectory is far from the center of the
galaxy, and outside its spiraling arms.
Stars and planets in a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way are structured
around the bloated core. The spiraling arms move away from the center
of the galaxy at a consistent angle and plane. The spaces between these
arms contain only a negligent number of solar systems-and our own solar
system is one of these rare examples.
Is it somehow relevant that our solar system is located between the spiral
arms of the galaxy?
First, it means that we are far removed from the gases and other debris
contained in the spiraling arms, giving us a clean, clear view of the
universe from where we are. Had our solar system been located inside these
spiral arms, our view would have been considerably obscured. As Michael
Denton writes in his book Nature's Destiny,
What is so striking is that the cosmos appears to be
not just supremely fit for our own being and for our biological adaptations,
but also for our understanding... Because of the position of our solar
system on the edge of the galactic rim, we can gaze farther into the night
to distant galaxies and gain knowledge of the overall structure of the
cosmos. Were we positioned in the center of a galaxy, we would never look
on the beauty of a spiral galaxy nor would we have any idea of the structure
of our universe. 25
Normally, stars located between spiral arms cannot maintain their position
for prolonged periods of time, since they are eventually absorbed into
the spirals. Yet our solar system has maintained its orbit between the
galaxy's spiral arms for the past 4.5 billion years.
Our location's stability is due to the fact that our Sun is one of very
few stars positioned on the trajectory called "galactic co-rotation radius."
For a star to maintain its position between two spiral
arms depends on its distance from the core of the galaxy. In other words,
it needs to be on the co-rotation radius, so that it travels around the
center at the same speed as do the spiral arms.26
Among our galaxy's billions of stars, only our Sun has both this special
position as well as the required velocity.
Our position, outside of the spiral arms where stars cluster, is also
the safest place in the universe, since here we are removed from gravitational
forces that could destabilize the orbits of planets.
Also, we are out of reach of the deadly effects of supernova explosions.
In any other part of the galaxy, our Earth could not have survived the
4.5 billion years it took to make it a place suitable for human life.
Thanks to the creation of our solar system in this special position,
life-and human life-can be sustained on Earth. This is the reason why
we can investigate the universe we live in and observe the unequalled,
supreme, spectacular artistry in God's creation.
The location of our solar system, just like the laws of physics governing
the universe, is proof that it was designed for human existence.
THE PRECISE ORDER IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM
The solar system that is home to our Earth is one of the best places
to observe the universe's precise order and harmony. The unequalled order
that controls all planets, large or small, within the solar system has
been responsible for its stability over the past 4.5 billion years.
The planet Jupiter, with its strong
gravity, has been created as a protective shield, allowing for life
on Earth. With its huge mass and strong magnetic field, Jupiter
acts as a cosmic minesweeper for Earth. Thanks to Jupiter, thousands
of meteors and comets are prevented from targeting the Earth and
creating great damage.
In our solar system, there are nine planets, and orbiting them are the
54 satellites discovered so far. Beginning with the nearest to the Sun,
these planets are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune,
Uranus and Pluto. Out of all these planets and their satellites, Earth
is the only one with a surface and atmosphere suitable for life.
The balance between the Sun's gravity and any planet's centrifugal force
prevents it from being flung out into space. The Sun's massive gravitational
force attracts the planets, which can only withstand this force and not
fall into the Sun's nuclear furnace because of the centrifugal forces
their motion creates. If the planets' speed were a little slower in their
orbits, however, they would be rapidly pulled into towards the Sun, which
would swallow them up.
The opposite is also possible. Were the planets to rotate any faster,
the Sun's gravitational forces would not be powerful enough to keep them
in their orbits and they would be cast out into space. However, a fine
balance between these forces exists, and the solar system preserves it.
This balance of forces differs separately for each planet in any solar
system, since their respective distances to the Sun vary. Their masses
are different too, which means that they must revolve around the Sun at
different velocities in order to maintain their equilibrium. The same
balanced forces exist for the Earth.
The latest discoveries in astronomy reveal that the existence of other
planets in our solar system is vital for the Earth's safety and orbit.
The system's largest planet, Jupiter, is a good example. With its exact
location within the system, it plays a crucial role in maintaining the
Earth's balance. Recent astrophysical calculations reveal that Jupiter's
present orbit is partly responsible for the consistency of the other planets'
orbits within the solar system
Huge planets like Jupiter have been discovered in many other solar systems,
but they are far from having a stabilizing influence on their systems
or from protecting any other, smaller planets therein. Peter D. Ward,
a Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Washington, says:
All the masses, sizes, and distances
between planets in the Solar System were created in a perfect equilibrium.
All the Jupiters seen today are bad Jupiters. Ours
is the only good one we know of. And it's got to be good, or you're thrown
out into dark space or into your sun.27
Another reason why Jupiter is so important for us is that if it did it
not exist, there would be no life on Earth, due to the high number of
meteorite impacts our planet would be exposed to. The magnetic field created
by Jupiter's huge mass bends the trajectory of comets and meteorites entering
the solar system and prevents them from targeting the Earth. Jupiter acts
as a protective gravitational shield for the Earth.
Yet another way Jupiter protects the Earth is revealed by astronomer
George Wetherhill in his article entitled "How Special Jupiter Is":
Without a large planet positioned precisely where Jupiter
is, the earth would have been struck a thousand times more frequently
in the past by comets and meteors and other interplanetary debris. If
it were not for Jupiter, we wouldn't be around to study the origin of
the solar system. 28
It has been calculated that the Earth-Moon planetary system also plays
a vital role in preserving balance in the solar system. In the absence
of this duo, Jupiter's huge mass would cause great instability to inner
planets like Mercury and Venus; with the result that their orbits would
approach one another closer and closer. This in turn would force Mercury
out of the solar system and alter the orbit of Venus. Scientists developed
a computer model of the solar system, clearly revealing that the order
and consistency preserved for billions of years was only possible only
by the ideal mass and positioning of planets within the solar system.
With the slightest change to the existing order within this system, our
solar system, including the Earth, could not exist.
The Astronomical Journal described the extraordinary design inherent
in our solar system in its November, 1998 issue:
Our basic finding is nevertheless an indication of
the need for some sort of rudimentary "design" in the solar system to
ensure long-term stability… 29
just a few of the sensitive balances essential for life to emerge
and survive on Earth, are sufficient to reveal that the universe
and the Earth could not have come into existence by chance.
In short, our solar system's structure has been designed specifically
for human life. God reveals His miraculous Creation in many verses of
the Qur'an and commands us to ponder them:
He has made night and day subservient to you, and the
Sun and Moon and stars, all subject to His command. There are certainly
Signs in that for people who use their intellect. (Qur'an, 16:12)
THE SIZE OF THE EARTH AND THE IDEAL PROPORTIONS IN ITS
Equally as important as the Earth's distance from the Sun, and rate of
rotation is its size and composition, just right for forming and sustaining
The type, proportion, and reaction
speeds of heavy elements in the Earth's core play a highly important
role in forming the protective magnetic field around the Earth,
which protects us from all harmful rays and particles from outer
When we compare the Earth to Mercury (only 8% of the Earth's mass) and
Jupiter (318 times the Earth's mass), we see that planets span a wide
range in terms of size. Considering this it is obvious that the Earth
couldn't be of just the right mass by coincidence.
Investigating the properties of the planet we live on,
American geologists Frank Press and Raymond Siever write the following:
And Earth's size was just about right-not too small
as to lose its atmosphere because its gravity was too small to prevent
gasses from escaping into space, and not so large that its gravity would
hold on to too much atmosphere, including harmful gases. 31
Besides the mass of the Earth, its internal composition is also designed
specifically to support life. Because of its inner core of iron, Earth
has a magnetic field, which is crucial for the preservation of life. Press
and Siever explain:
The earth's interior is a gigantic but delicately balanced
heat engine fueled by radioactivity …Were it running more slowly, geological
activity would have proceeded at a slower pace. Iron might not have melted
and sunk to form the liquid core, and the magnetic field would never have
developed…if there had been more radioactive fuel and a faster running
engine, volcanic gas and dust would have blotted out the Sun, the atmosphere
would have been oppressively dense, and the surface would have been racked
by daily earthquakes and volcanic explosions. 32
The angle of tilt of the Earth's axis,
23 degrees and 27 minutes, prevents extreme heat which might afflict
between the poles and the equator. Were it not for that tilt, the
temperature differences between the poles and the equator would
rise still further, making impossible a life-supporting atmosphere.
The magnetic field that Press and Siever describe is vital for our survival.
It is caused by the core of the Earth which is composed of heavy, magnetic
metals like iron and nickel. The inner core is solid and the outer core,
liquid. These two layers rotate around one another, and their motion creates
the magnetic field, which radiates far beyond the Earth's atmosphere and
protects the planet from the dangers of outer space. Deadly cosmic radiation
emitted from stars including our own Sun cannot penetrate this protective
shield. The Van Allan belts, tens of thousands of kilometers above the
Earth, provide more protection from such deadly radiation.
The Earth is sometimes exposed to massive bursts of cosmic radiation.
These plasma clouds have been calculated to have energy equivalent to
100 billion Hiroshima bombs, but only 0.1% of it gets past the Earth's
magnetic field and that is absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere in any case.
The electrical energy needed to produce this magnetic field is a current
of 1 billion amperes, which is close to the total electrical energy produced
by mankind since history began.
If not for the Earth's magnetic shield, life on Earth would be destroyed
by deadly radiation or would never have formed in the first place. However,
since the core of the Earth has just the right properties, as Press and
Siever point out, the world we live in, is protected in this way.
THE EARTH'S TEMPERATURE IS WITHIN A NARROW BUT SPECIAL
Frank Press and Raymond Siever also explain the fine-tuning of the Earth's
surface temperature. As they say:
Life as we know it is possible over a very narrow temperature
interval. This interval is perhaps 1 or 2 percent of the range between
a temperature of absolute zero and the surface temperature of the Sun.
Preserving this temperature range depends as much on the heat emitted
by the Sun as on the distance between the Sun and the Earth. It has been
calculated that only a 10% decrease in the solar energy reaching the Earth
would result in the Earth's surface being covered by a layer of ice covering,
many meters thick. Likewise, if a little more energy reached the Earth,
all living beings would roast.
Many independent factors, such as
the Earth's distance from the Sun, its speed of rotation around
its own axis, its angle of tilt, and surface features all let the
planet be warmed in a manner suited to life, and for heat to be
spread across the planet in a balanced way.
The Earth's ideal temperature is as crucial as its balanced diffusion;
and this balance is achieved by special means. For instance, the Earth's
axis is tilted by 23" 27'. This prevents the buildup of extreme heat that
could prevent the formation of the atmosphere between the poles and the
equator. If the axis was not tilted by this degree, the temperature difference
between the equator and the poles would increase dramatically thus making
the Earth an uninhabitable place.
The Earth's rotation around its own axis aids in the balanced distribution
of heat. Each rotation takes only 24 hours, which factor is responsible
for short days and nights. This is why the temperature difference between
day and night is relatively small in comparison to Mercury's, where a
single day is longer than one year. In other words, one rotation of Mercury
around its axis takes longer than one rotation around the Sun. Temperature
can fluctuate by as much as 1,000o C (1,832 o F) between Mercurial day
The Earth's shape, too, has been created to aid the heat distribution.
The temperature difference between the poles and the equator is approximately
100o C (212o F). If such a difference were to occur on a smooth sphere,
storms at speeds of up to 1,000 km/h (621 miles/hour) would wreak havoc
across the Earth. However, the world has been provided with obstacles
such as mountain chains and oceans to break up the path of such potential
strong air currents. These are, from east to west, the Himalayas beginning
in China, the Taurus Mountains in Anatolia, and the Alps in Western Europe;
the Atlantic Ocean in the West, and the Pacific in the East. Excess heat
produced around the equator is modified toward the north and south as
the ocean waters balance temperature fluctuations in a gradual, controlled
There are also self-regulating climate control mechanisms. For instance,
if any particular area is exposed to excessive heat, water evaporation
increases accordingly. Clouds condense in the sky, reflecting some of
the Sun's radiation and thus preventing any further increase of surface
Many independent factors such as the Earth's distance to the Sun, its
speed of rotation, angle of axis, and surface structures all play their
part in keeping surface temperature at levels necessary to sustain life
as well as even out heat distribution.
Those who reject the notion that the distance between the Sun and the
Earth is intentional argue that many stars in the universe, both larger
and smaller than our own Sun, have their own planetary systems. If a star
is much more massive than our Sun, than any planet ideal for life would
need to be at a greater distance than is the Sun from the Earth. For instance,
a planet orbiting a red giant at a distance of our Pluto could have a
mild climate suitable for life, like the one we enjoy here on Earth.
But this proposition is invalid for one very important reason: It does
not take into account that stars of different mass emit different radiation.
A star's mass, correlated to its surface temperature, determines the wavelength
of its emitted radiation. For instance, our Sun's surface temperature
of around 6,000oC is responsible for the emission of ultraviolet, visible
light and infrared radiation. Had its mass had been greater, its surface
temperature should have been greater too.
This, in turn, would increase the energy value of the Sun's radiation
resulting in higher emission of deadly ultraviolet waves. This reality
demonstrates that stars emitting the kind of radiation able to support
life as we know it must have a mass very similar to our Sun's. Also, if
one of their planets is to support life, it must be at a distance equivalent
as the Earth from our Sun. To put it differently, a planet orbiting a
red or blue giant, or any other star of noticeably different mass, cannot
provide a life-supporting environment. The only source of energy suitable
for life is a star like ours, and the only ideal distance is that between
us and the Sun.
From what we have related here thus far, you can gather that both Earth
and Sun have been created by God, right down to the smallest detail, to
support human life in the best possible way. The distance between Sun
and Earth is perfect, which in itself is a miracle beside the hundreds,
even thousands of other details that are exactly as they need to be. This
magnificent life-supporting system exceeds human comprehension. It is
impossible to have been the product of coincidences, that all the stars
and planets formed by "senseless atoms" could be placed by chance exactly
where they have to be, that they could accidentally, all by themselves,
establish laws governing their behavior and, accordingly develop the appropriate
systems. These flawless systems are all proof of God's unique creation
and supreme might.
The Qur'an reveals God's supremacy, his total control over the universe
and the Earth, and that mankind should be thankful to him for all this:
Your Lord is God, Who created the heavens and the Earth
in six days and then settled Himself firmly on the Throne. He covers the
day with the night, each pursuing the other urgently; and the Sun and
Moon and stars are subservient to His command. Both creation and command
belong to Him. Blessed be God, the Lord of all the worlds. (Qur'an, 7:54)
And He has made the Sun and Moon subservient to you holding
steady to their courses, and He has made the night and day subservient
to you. He has given you everything you have asked Him for. If you tried
to number God's blessings, you could never count them. Man is indeed wrongdoing,
ungrateful. (Qur'an, 14:33-34)
IDEAL RATIOS IN THE ATMOSPHERE
The Earth's atmosphere is a cocktail of different gases in the proper
ratio (78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 1% carbon dioxide and other gases like
argon), formed by a combination of extraordinary conditions and designed
to support life.
Were the level of oxygen in the atmosphere
only a little higher, the Earth would soon turn into an uninhabitable
planet. The first tiny spark would give rise to giant conflagrations,
and the dry land would soon be reduced to dead, ashen waste.
Let us begin with oxygen, the most important gas because life forms from
simple one-called bacteria up to complex human beings depend on oxygen
for the many chemical reactions that produce their energy. This is why
we need to breathe continuously. Interestingly, the percentage of oxygen
in the air we breathe is very carefully arranged. As Michael Denton says:
Could your atmosphere contain more oxygen and still
support life? No! Oxygen is a very reactive element. Even the current
percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere, 21 percent, is close to the upper
limit of safety for life at ambient temperatures. The probability of a
forest fire being ignited increases by as much as 70 percent for every
1 percent increase in the percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere. 34
Were the level of carbon-dioxide in
the atmosphere any lower, the Earth could not maintain its surface
temperature. The surface would lose heat constantly, all the oceans
would freeze, and life on Earth would become impossible.
British biochemist James Lovelock further explores this critical ratio:
Above 25% very little of our present land vegetation
could survive the raging conflagrations which would destroy tropical rain
forests and arctic tundra alike... The present oxygen level is at a point
where risk and benefit nicely balance. 35
The percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere is preserved by a perfect
cycle. Animals continuously inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Plants,
on the other hand, absorb carbon dioxide and give out life-sustaining
oxygen. Every day, plants release billions of tons of oxygen into the
atmosphere, even though they re-absorb some of it at night, when they
are not photosynthesizing.
If these two life forms, plant and animal, were to use the same process,
they'd turn the Earth into a lifeless planet. If both produced oxygen,
for instance, in a very short time the atmosphere would acquire highly
flammable properties, and the tiniest spark would cause fires on a massive
scale. Most of the dry land would burn. If, on the other hand, both life
forms produced carbon dioxide, oxygen in the atmosphere would quickly
be used up and all life forms that continued to respire would suffocate.
However, God has balanced life forms so perfectly that the oxygen in
the air remains constant, at the ideal ratio crucial to life. According
to Lovelock, this ratio is "at a point where risk and benefit nicely
The mix of atmospheric gases is balanced, with each occurring at its
ideal quantity. Even carbon dioxide, useless to us, is a very important
substance because it prevents some of the inf rared sunlight reflected
by the Earth from escaping back into space, and thus assists heat retention.
Biological and tectonic processes on the Earth preserve the balance of
atmospheric gases vital for life, and have done so for millions of years.
Yet another fact that proves the existence of God, Who has created this
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been calculated to increase the
average surface temperature by 35o C (95o F). This
means that if there was no atmospheric CO2, the Earth's average temperature
would be -21o C (-5.8 o F) instead of 14o
C (57.2o F). All oceans would freeze over. Most larger life
forms would cease to exist.
THE DENSITY OF AIR
The density of air, ideal for respiration, is yet another exactly perfect
aspect of the atmosphere.
Air pressure is 760mm Hg, and its density works out
to be 1 gram per liter at sea level, where its viscosity is 50 times greater
than water's. These values might appear irrelevant, but are actually vital
for human life because, as Michael Denton puts it, "The overall composition
and general character of the atmosphere-its density, viscosity, and pressure,
etc.-must be very similar to what it is, particularly for air-breathing
If the atmosphere's density and viscosity
were slightly different, we would find breathing air as difficult
for our lungs as sucking honey up through a syringe.
When we breathe, our lungs use up energy in order to pump the air in
and out. Like all forms of matter, air is resistant to movement. But thanks
to the properties of the gaseous atmosphere, this resistance is very weak,
making it easy for our lungs to inhale and exhale. If that resistance
were stronger, our lungs would begin to struggle. You can easily grasp
this with an experiment: It's easy to draw water into a syringe, but harder
to draw honey, because honey has a higher density and lesser fluidity.
If the atmosphere's values of density, fluidity, and pressure were altered
by even a fraction, inhaling would become as hard as drawing honey into
a syringe. One could argue that the syringe's needle could be made wider,
in other words, the lung's airways could be enlarged. But if we did that
in the case of the capillaries in the lungs, the result would be to reduce
the size of the area in contact with air, with the result that less oxygen
and carbon dioxide would be exchanged in the same amount of time and the
respiratory needs of the body would not be satisfied. The air we breathe
in has the absolutely right density, fluidity and pressure and fits the
bill just fine.
On this subject, Professor Michael Denton states the following:
It is clear that if either the viscosity or the density
of air were much greater, the airway resistance would be prohibitive and
no conceivable redesign of the respiratory system would be capable of
delivering sufficient oxygen to a metabolically active air-breathing organism...
By plotting all possible atmospheric pressures against all possible oxygen
contents, it becomes clear that there is only one unique tiny area...
where all the various conditions for life are satisfied... It is surely
of enormous significance that several essential conditions are satisfied
in this one tiny region in the space of all possible atmospheres. 37
Our atmosphere's properties must be right not only for respiration purposes,
but also to keep our "blue planet" blue. If the pressure were to be decreased
by as little as a fifth, water evaporation over the land and oceans would
increase dramatically. Higher water vapor content in the atmosphere would
create a global greenhouse effect, dramatically increasing the planet's
average temperature. On the other hand, if the atmospheric pressure doubled,
water vapor in the atmosphere would be greatly reduced, with most of the
world's land area becoming desert.
None of these possibilities occur, however, because God has created the
world, the solar system, and the whole universe flawlessly. He has created
the whole of the Earth in order to provide us with suitable living conditions.
God reveals this perfect creation in the Qur'an and demands that we reflect
on these examples to appreciate his creation:
God is He Who raised up the heavens without any support-you
can see that-and then established Himself firmly on the Throne. He made
the Sun and Moon subservient, each running for a specified term. He directs
the whole affair. He makes the Signs clear so that hopefully you will
be certain about the meeting with your Lord. It is He Who stretched out
the Earth and placed firmly embedded mountains and rivers in it and made
two types of every kind of fruit. He covers over day with night. There
are Signs in that for people who reflect. In the Earth there are diverse
regions side by side and gardens of grapes and cultivated fields, and
palm-trees sharing one root and others with individual roots, all watered
with the same water. And We make some things better to eat than others.
There are Signs in that for people who use their intellect. (Qur'an, 13:3-4)
THE MIRACLE OF VISIBLE LIGHT
Not all the stars and other sources of light in the universe emit the
same type of radiation. Different types of radiation are classified according
to their respective wavelengths. They fall along a huge spectrum, with
gamma rays being the shortest and radio waves the longest. The difference
between these shortest and longest waves is 1025 (ten times billion times
billion times billion). Miraculously, most of the Sun's radiation lies
in the same bundle of wavelengths within this vast spectrum, because only
that narrow band contains the radiation necessary to support life.
Visible light emitted by the Sun occupies
just one single sector in the 1025 different wavelengths in the
universe. Most interestingly, the rays that support life on Earth
fall within that range of one in 1025. That rays emitted by the
Sun are squeezed into such a narrow range, capable of supporting
life on Earth, reveals an intelligent design that cannot be explained
in terms of chance. The ideal type of rays emitted by the Sun were
selected from among trillions of trillions of possible wavelengths.
The vastness of this spectrum becomes clearer when
you realize that the shortest wavelength is 1025 times shorter than the
longest. 1025 is written out as a 1 with 25 zeros following
it, like this: 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. To fully comprehend
the magnitude of this number, it helps to make some comparisons. For instance,
the 4.5 billion years that have passed since the Earth's creation can
be converted to 1017 seconds. If you wanted to count to 1025,
you would have to count day and night for a period 100 million times longer
than the age of the Earth. If we were to pile 1025 playing
cards on top of one another, we would leave the Milky Way behind and cover
about half the distance of the known universe! 38
The different wavelengths in the universe are spread across that wide
a spectrum, but within it, interestingly, our Sun covers only the narrowest
bandwidth. 70% of the Sun's radiation has wavelengths between 0.3 and
1.5 microns. Within this narrow bandwidth are three different types of
light; visible light, infrared, and some ultraviolet.
All three types of light combined make up an almost ,nsignificant section
of the total spectrum. In other words, they would be represented by one
of the 1025 cards.
But why does the Sun's radiation lie within this narrow bandwidth?
The answer to that question is extremely important: It's the only type
of radiation that can support life on Earth.
Addressing this question in Energy and the Atmosphere,
British physicist Ian Campbell says that "the radiation from the sun (and
from many sequence stars) should be concentrated into a minuscule band
of the electromagnetic spectrum which provides precisely the radiation
required to maintain life on earth is very remarkable." According to Campbell,
this situation is "staggering."39
THE EXTRAORDINARY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SUN LIGHT AND
Plants have been doing something for hundreds of millions of years that
no high-tech lab, run by scientific specialists, has yet been able to
do: They produce their own nutrition by a process called photosynthesis,
using sunlight. A precondition of this process, however, is that suitable
light reach the plants in the first place.
As a result of photosynthesis,
the cells in plant leaves store solar energy as food. All life obtains
its energy from sunlight, either directly or indirectly. But only
within a very specific range of light can any plant make photosynthesis.
This range corresponds exactly to the spectrum emitted by the Sun.
Photosynthesis is made possible by the light-sensitive chlorophyll molecules
in the plants' cells. But chlorophyll however can make use of light at
a certain wavelengths only, and the ones emitted by the Sun are just right.
(Interestingly, the one required for photosynthesis is one in the 1025
That sunlight identical to the light necessary for photosynthesis shows
its perfect design. In The Symbiotic Universe, American astronomer George
Greenstein writes as follows:
Chlorophyll is the molecule that accomplishes photosynthesis... The mechanism
of photosynthesis is initiated by the absorption of sunlight by a chlorophyll
molecule. But in order for this to occur, the light must be of the right
color. Light of the wrong color won't do the trick.
A good analogy is that of a television
set. In order for the set to receive a given channel it must be tuned
to that channel; tune it differently and the reception will not occur.
It is the same with photosynthesis, the Sun functioning as the transmitter
in the analogy and the chlorophyll molecule as the receiving TV set.
If the molecule and the Sun are not tuned to each other-tuned in the sense
of color-photosynthesis will not occur. As it turns out, the sun's color
is just right. 40
Those who examine this subject of plants and photosynthesis superficially
could argue that if sunlight had different properties, plants would have
adapted accordingly. But this is most certainly impossible. George Greenstein
admits that this is, even though he is an evolutionist:
With regard to
visible light, another interesting point is that its different colors
can travel varying distances through water. Red light, for example,
comes to an end below 18 meters (59 feet). Yellow light can travel
up to 100 meters (328 feet). Green and blue light descend to 240
meters (787 feet). This design is most important, because the light
necessary for photosynthesis is primarily blue and green. Since
water can transmit light of these colors further than other wavelengths,
plants that make photosynthesis can live at depths of up to 240
meters (787 feet).
One might think that a certain adaptation has been
at work here: the adaptation of plant life to the properties of sunlight.
After all, if the Sun were a different temperature could not some other
molecule, tuned to absorb light of a different color, take the place of
chlorophyll? Remarkably enough the answer is no, for within broad limits
all molecules absorb light of similar colors. The absorption of light
is accomplished by the excitation of electrons in molecules to higher
energy states, and the same no matter what molecule you are discussing.
Furthermore, light is composed of photons, packets of energy and photons
of the wrong energy simply can not be absorbed… As things stand in reality,
there is a good fit between the physics of stars and that of molecules.
Failing this fit, however, life would have been impossible.41
Essentially, Greenstein says that for a plant to photosynthesize, it
requires a definite bandwidth of light, which sunlight perfectly fulfills.
Greenstein states that the harmonies between the physical properties
of stars and of molecules is so extraordinary that they cannot possibly
be explained by coincidences. The fact that the Sun emits light at a certain
wavelength from a possible range of 1025 others, and that complex
molecules on Earth can absorb this light, most certainly proves that this
harmony was created consciously, by God.
When sunlight falls on a leaf, it is transmitted
along the layers in the leaf. In the leaf cells, chlorophylls in
the chloroplast organelles turn this light into chemical energy.
The plant securing this chemical energy immediately uses it to create
sugar as food. It took scientists until the mid-20th century to
discover this process, which we have summarized in a few words.
Pages of chemical reactions have been written in order to understand
the process of photosynthesis, yet still there are missing links
in the chain. Plants have been carrying out this process for hundreds
of millions of years, thus providing the Earth with oxygen and food.
Out of the 1025 different rays in the universe, only solar rays
are suitable for photosynthesis in plant chlorophylls.